By: Mark A. Hill
Principal Investigators: Mark A. Hill
Reports of Investigation 100 Volume 1, Applied Anthropology Laboratories, Ball State University 


A set of seven copper objects recovered from a Late Archaic feature at the McQueen Shell Ring site on St. Catherine’s Island, Georgia, were analyzed to determine the likely geological source of the copper used in their manufacture. The seven artifacts are all fragments of a copper sheet, and are thought to represent single broken and fragmented artifact. These artifacts were analyzed using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) at the Elemental Analysis Facility of the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History. The results were compared to geological source samples from Lake Superior, the Appalachians, and the Canadian Maritimes in two separate discriminant function analyses. Both analyses found the most probable associations of the coastal Georgia artifacts with copper sources in the northern portion of the Lake Superior basin. In particular, sources on Isle Royale in northwestern Lake Superior were most frequently found to have the highest probability, while those on Michipicoten Island in northeastern Lake Superior were somewhat less frequently associated. The McQueen materials are highly unlikely to have originated from sources in the central Appalachians and the Canadian Maritimes, while sources in the southern Appalachians have a low to very low probability of association with the McQueen site copper